Diet and Back Pain

Diet and Back Pain

Diet and Back Pain

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We often do not make the connection of diet and back pain.  But,  like in all things,  subtle changes can make a difference.  I have blogged several times about the effects of weight and back pain,  but this blog will be oriented to the type of food,  not excessive food.

In general,  back pain can be secondary to inflammation to the muscles,  ligaments and cartilages of the spine.  So,  the question is,  does food lead to inflammation,  or does your diet contribute to inflammation?  The short answer is yes.

Studies have shown that transfats,  refined sugar,  highly processed grains,  animal fats, MSG, Glutens, and too much alcohol can contribute to increased inflammation to your body.   As in all things,  we should learn to moderate the consumption of these foods,  if not avoiding them all together.

We have also learned that there are certain foods that have an anti-inflammatory quality.

This group includes foods with concentrated  Omega 3 fatty acids.   Great sources of Omega 3 rich food include salmon, herring, mackerel,  sardines, anchovies, trout, flaxseeds, and walnuts.  While lately there has been some strong statements made regarding the lack of efficacy of using multi-vitamins,  fish oil supplements with high Omega 3 is still an excellent choice in trying to reduce inflammation.

Green tea has phytochemicals associated with anti-inflammatory properties.  To be effective, however,  we need to have about 5 cups of green tea each day.

The so called Mediterranean Diet has been associated with decreased inflammation.  That is likely secondary to the use of  olive oil.  Olive oil has been show to have a natural anti-inflammatory effect,  which also helps prevent cardiac disease.

Anti-oxidant rich foods have also been associated with reducing inflammation.  Examples of anti-oxidant foods include  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, papaya,  cantaloupe, apricots, cherries, plums, and watermelon. Antioxidant-rich vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli,  cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato, and turnip  greens. As a general rule,  color rich fruits and vegetables are often associated with anti-oxidants.

Spices such as  ginger, garlic, cinnamon and turmeric have  been associated with anti-inflammatory effects as well.

In general,  when we say we want to decrease inflammation,  we are actually asking for a way to decrease the aging process.  Inflammation in acute injury is necessary to heal ourselves.  But,  it is apparent that the aging process includes an inflammatory process that promotes scarring, and  breakdown.  If we do our part in promoting less inflammation,  perhaps we can slow the aging process,  which includes back pain from the inflammatory process.

Everything is related.  We must stretch,  exercise,  keep our weight down,  avoid inflammatory activities such as smoking,  excessive drinking, and must eat non processed foods that promote anti-inflammation.  We may stay younger longer, and have less episodes of back and neck pain.

 

 

 

 

Citations

  • Shell WE, Pavlik S, Roth B, Silver M, Breitstein ML, May L, Silver D. Reduction in Pain and Inflammation Associated With Chronic Low Back Pain With the Use of the Medical Food Theramine. Am J Ther. 2016 Nov/Dec;23(6):e1353-e1362. PubMed PMID: 25237981

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Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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